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Results of our 2021 podcast listener survey

We conducted our first survey of Restart Radio listeners in 2019 to hear their thoughts on the podcast. The feedback that we received was incredibly helpful and led to us making many changes to the shows. So, this summer, we decided to run it again.

First of all, a big thank you to those of you who filled out the survey. Your comments will be invaluable and have already started to inform our planning for future content. For those of you who missed out on filling it in, feel free to send us feedback any time.

A little bit about our listeners

Currently, about 3,000 of you listen to our podcast and radio show each month with listeners tuning in from all over the globe. We were happy to hear responses from listeners as far away as Singapore and Iran. In much of our news coverage, we focus on policy movements in the UK and EU but we also strive to cover issues related to repair all over the world. If there is a topic particularly pertinent to repair in your country, we would love to hear about it. Respondents represented the global listenership pretty well in terms of their location, with a slight over-representation of British listeners.

What do you want to hear?

We were very keen to hear about which topics you are interested in hearing about. After all, we don’t produce this podcast just for ourselves! One listener said that they enjoy that the podcast “covers an interesting mix of topics – some directly related to repair cafes and e-waste, but other more general environmental topics and others slightly more niche.” The top three topics that you were interested in are fixing, second-hand products, and zero waste. While these are not surprising, it gives us a confident direction to take our content in for the future. 

We also wanted to find out who you want to hear from. One thing that we would like to do in 2022 is feature our local community more – everyone from Restart Party volunteers to professional repairers in London. It seems like our listeners would like this too! The main people you wanted to hear more from were professional repairers, Restart Staff, and talented amateur technologists. We hope that as travel and meeting in person become safer, more of this can happen.

We’ve spoken to authors, academics, activists and repairers this year, and we’re happy to hear that in the meantime you are enjoying this. You said that the podcast brings “a mix of perspectives from expert repair issues to bigger-picture policy issues” which is definitely what we want to do by talking to repairers and campaigners alike. 

Where does listening lead?

As well as standing on its own as a resource, we hope that the podcast encourages you to explore and engage with repair further. We asked if this was the case for our listeners:

  • 64% learned more about what we do and about sustainability
  • 40% started volunteering or joined an event
  • 43% said they would donate if asked
  • 29% said they would contribute audio prompts for us to use in episodes (something we would definitely like to make use of in the future!)

These numbers are quite a bit higher than the last time we conducted a survey which is really good to see and we’re happy that our listeners were still able to engage further despite the difficulties of the last year.

What you liked…

Some of our favourite comments on what you like about the podcast were:

  • That is it “informative and often inspiring”
  • That is “brings a new aspect of how to differently conceptualize ‘technology’ to make a better world possible”
  • That our “variety of subject on sustainability and repair is years beyond other outlets”
  • That we explore “the tension of advocating for smart technological solutions and implementations with the critical eye towards the general tendencies of how most major societies conceptualize and fetishize technology”

It was good to hear that we are “asking the right questions” of our guests and that the podcast is “informative and relatable without being too overwhelming” as this is exactly the approach we try to take. We know that people of all different knowledge levels listen to our content and we like to make it as accessible as possible while still digging into the issues. 

We were also really pleased that you did not feel that the quality of the podcast or your listening experience had been affected by remote recording. Keeping the show going during the past year and a half has been challenging at times and required some very fast adaptation but we are proud that we have been able to keep making content that you enjoy.

And what we can improve

You would like us to think about:

  • getting more technical with more information about the “nitty-gritty details of repair”
  • adding repair tips or case studies to episodes
  • having a “blend” of content each episode, perhaps more like we do in our radio episodes
  • and changing the music (although some of you mentioned how much you like it!)

Truly, thank you again to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey. We are already brainstorming for next year about new series we could start and how we can switch up our content a bit. We’re also going to start the process of adding transcripts to episodes as another step in making our archive more accessible and user-friendly.

We are always keen to hear from you so let us know if you have any more feedback! And since 43% of respondents said they would donate if asked…

[Feature image by Rod Flores, licensed under the Unsplash license]

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